Love Your Customers. It is a mystery why some people start a business, then quickly forget the basics.
Nancy, Jillian and I went for a long bike ride over the weekend. There is an eleven mile rail trail in our New England community. At the halfway point, there is a charming place to eat.
The weather was great. We ordered salad’s with chicken breast and sat outside. When our salads arrived, Nancy’s salad clearly contained a grilled sparrow breast, it was puny.
I offered to switch, but Nancy said she would eat it, but would mention her disappointment before we left. We both knew that wouldn’t be received well.
The owner of the shop immediately defended the salad. She talked about weighing each chicken breast, shrinkage from cooking, etc.
An insincere, ”Sorry about that” was the end of the conversation.
Where is the love?
George owned a coffee shop in the small, college town where we once lived in Ohio. He left his job with a large insurance company to open the shop.
The shop was in the perfect location, right before the highway to Columbus. I was often a more than once a day customer. George was miserable in the morning. He was miserable in the afternoon. He went home miserable (my daughter went to work for him, so I know).
“How are you doing today, George?”, I would ask.
“Ugh.”, he would reply. “Awful. It has been so busy all day.”
Essentially, George was saying, “Business would be great if it wasn’t for these damned customers.”
George was actually a good guy. He just forgot one thing: Love Your Customers. He sold his business to someone who remembered to “Love Your Customers”.
If you and your team don’t love your customers, they will eventually go away. Loving your customers is free. It doesn’t cost anything. If you own a business, hire people who can love your customers. If you work for a business, love your customers.
Love + Product=Profit.
My oldest daughter MK worked for Starbucks until recently. I so enjoyed watching her manage her store. She did it with love.
MK loved her team and she loved her customers. I would sit, watch and admire her capacity to love. Great stuff. Starbucks taught her their store system. Her mother taught her how to love and she brought it to work every day. The cost to the Starbucks expense line: zero.
It doesn’t matter your personal religious beliefs. Here is some great advice on how to Love Your Customers even though, I admit, there are times they are hard to love:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick tempered, it does not brood over injury, it dos not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Patience. Kindness. Trusting Humbleness. Understanding. Politeness. Giving. Easygoing. Carefree. Honest. Believe. Hope. Endure.
Not a bad list on how to Love Your Customers.
How do you train your staff when it comes to loving your customers? Can you train staff to love, or do you hire staff that already knows how to love customers?